Did you know that the average Australian consumes 32 kilograms of chocolate every year (according to CSIRO)?
Scary isn’t it? And Easter is coming!
Did you also know that an estimated 1.5 million children work in cocoa production in West African nations to farm the cocoa that goes into the chocolate? Or that, while chocolate is a multi-billion dollar industry, for every 100 grams of chocolate sold, cocoa farmers in West Africa receive around 19 cents.
Scary too, isn’t it? And yes, many of these cocoa farmers and their families live in extreme poverty, making them vulnerable to exploitation and forced labour.
Be Slavery Free says the difference between chocolate that gives a living income to cocoa farmers and chocolate that doesn’t isn’t much for Australians – around 14c per 100g of chocolate*.
“Chocolate’s great,” its founders say. “But kids working tough jobs in dangerous conditions for their families to earn less than AUS$2 a day isn’t.”
In the lead up to Easter, Be Slavery Free is calling on the cocoa industry to ask “How are the kids?”, as well as advocating to “give ’em a go” to break out of cycles of poverty.
It is also asking people to offset the human cost of their chocolate by donating the difference between current store prices for chocolate and a living income price.
A donation of just $44.97 will offset one person’s chocolate consumption for one year. It will also help Be Slavery Free to educate, resource, and change the cocoa industry to eliminate slavery and child labour in the supply chains of chocolate.
Currently, many cocoa farming families in West Africa are in a bind. They say: “You tell us not to use our children to help on our farms and then you tell us you are going to pay us 40 per cent less for our cocoa – how does that work? We are not bad parents, we are just trying to survive.”
To offset your chocolate consumption, donate at https://lnkd.in/gT9gCdQ
To advocate for the rights of kids in the West African cocoa industry with the hashtag #GiveThemAGo across every social media platform.
To petition the big global chocolate and producer companies to uphold a living income see https://beslaveryfree.com/chocolate
*Figures based on an average farmer and a block of dairy milk chocolate